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By PirateGirl All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Romance


He ran through the forest, zig-zagging through the trees, his arms and legs pumping, his breath coming fast. He ran, not because he wanted to; He would of gladly stopped, but this was his only chance of freedom. Suddenly, he was up in the air, unable to run further. As the dogs and his captors came, he hung his head. Caught. "Well, that was a merry chase, wasn't it boys?" The speaker was a thin, middle height man, with a scar diagonally across his right cheek. There were murmurs of agreement from the other riders, and he kept his head down, and blinked to keep the tears from spilling out of his eyes. He was literally dragged back in the net that had ended his escape and when they pulled him out, his hands were cuffed as soon as they were free of the rope. They shackled his feet as well, so he couldn't run again. Then slowly they walked him down a tunnel in the ground and pushed him into a cell.

He woke up on a dirt floor, and he saw stones built into the wall but the ceiling was dirt. He pushed himself across the floor to the wall, and then using his hands and pushing himself up the rock, he pushed himself into a standing position. He realized that his leg irons were gone. He stayed leaning against the wall and closed his eyes. He wished with all his heart that he was out in the sunlight, with the wind ruffling his hair, the leaves rustling, feeling the warm sun on his back... A rattle of locks interrupted his dream. He opened his eyes and saw a masked rider opening his cell door. it came in and started steering him out with a hand gripping the upper part of each arm, which were handcuffed behind him. Suddenly, his foot shot out in front of him and he hooked one of the bars of the door and slammed it closed, then wrenched himself from the hands of the masked rider, and turned to face them, placing the wall at the rider's back. The rider pressed a button and both of them dropped as the floor opened underneath their feet. They landed in a locked room. It was almost bare, and had soft walls, floors, and a soft ceiling. The entire room was white. The rider looked at him, then started toward him. He braced himself to do something to defend himself, but the rider leaped like a ninja and landed on his chest, pinning his handcuffed hands beneath him. He voiced the discomfort with a cry of pain. The rider stood over him as he wiggled, but couldn't find a comfortable position. The rider placed a boot on his chest, making him still, but he kept his back arched. The boot pressed down until his back was lying full weight on his hands. He made another pained noise, and the rider bent down and rolled him to his side and unlocked him. He brought his hands in front of him and his hands could only move a bit. He looked down at his hands and saw that he was wearing one of those belts with the strong cords and handcuffs. He sighed, then used all his abdominal strength and sat up, and sat looking up at the masked rider. Then, the rider reached up, took off its helmet, and shook out its long hair. He stared. The rider was a girl! "I thought riders were only boys!" He exclaimed. She flipped her hair around. "Father made an exception" She said. "Great" He thought. "I'm overpowered by the leader's daughter" He sat there, then closed his eyes, breathed in deeply, then exhaled, counting. He opened his eyes, looked at one of his handcuffed wrists, and flexed his muscles. Then he pulled his arm towards him; His muscles standing out like steel cables. She was watching him, but he didn't notice. Suddenly, the cord frayed. He rested for a second, then brought his arm up again. The cord snapped and he moved his head at light speed and his fist whizzed right where his head had been. He did the same with the other one as the girl watched. After the other cord snapped, he pushed himself up, and stood with his legs apart, and his arms held out to his sides; Bent, and his knees were bent. He was ready to fight. She merely sat on the soft stool and looked at him "What are you going to do? Hit a girl?" She asked him. He looked at her, then slowly stood up straight. And she tackled him. He tried to fight, but there was a booted foot on his chest, and it was pressing down hard, crushing the breath from him. He lay still, and hoped that she would fall for it and remove her foot. She didn't. The foot pressed harder, and finally, he lay still and limp. The boot removed some pressure. He didn't move, he was unconscious from the lack of air. She pushed her hand under his back and lifted his shoulders and upper back of the ground. He was completely limp and his head hung down, as well as his arms.

He awoke in the soft room with his hands handcuffed behind him, and he was blindfolded. A hand elevated his back up so he was somewhat sitting, and something was held at his lips. "Drink" A voice ordered softly. He drank slowly, letting the cool water flow through his mouth. When he had drank his fill, the hand lay him back on the ground and he voiced his discomfort again with a pained noise. He was elevated up again from behind and his blindfold fell away and slowly, his hands were unlocked. He understood the slowness; It meant 'Behave or you go right back into these.' As soon as they were off, he pitched himself forward and rolled, then turned in his roll to see who was behind him. It was the leader's daughter again. He sat with one leg folded under him and one leg drawn up in front of him, one bent arm resting on the drawn-up knee, the other resting on the thigh of the one folded underneath him. He studied her, not speaking and she kept silent, mesmerized by his sapphire eyes. At last he turned his head and took in his surroundings and she studied him. He had short cut golden blond hair with bits of dark brown mixed in, and it looked like he used gel in his hair and made it stick up a little in the front. He was wearing a black t-shirt that had dark green letters that spelled "Uknighted" with the T being a sword, and he wore a navy blue under armor under it. He wore dark blue jeans and adidas. as he turned back to face her, she looked levelly at him. he sighed, got up and walked a few feet to a wall, and ran at the wall. he ran up the wall, and flipped over to land on his feet. he did it again, only he turned two flips before landing. he stood still for a second, took a deep breath and heard him murmuring and he hand slipped into his pocket and he brought out his closed fist and placed his fingers against his mouth and he took his fist from his mouth, and ran up the wall and turned 2 1/2 flips and landed on his upper back and uncurled his arms straight out to his sides and his legs straight. the leader's daughter hurried over to him she checked his breath and determined he was just stunned, the opened one of his closed fists and saw a clear, egg-shaped crystal that glowed faintly. she carefully closed his fist again. his eyelids fluttered open, and he groaned. he tried to sit up but collapsed and looked up at her, and asked "where am I? who are you? why am I here?... who am I?" she nodded slowly, and took a special tool out of her kit and hit him on a special spot on his head and he groaned again, "ow.. what happened?" "you tried to do 3 flips before hitting the ground is my guess" she told him. he nodded slowly, a sheepish smile on his face "I should of known better. I tried that same trick before and landed on my head" he tried to push himself up and collapsed again. "guess this time was my last-for anything." he said sadly. "why?" she wanted to know "I can't rise" he choked out; tears welling up in his eyes. she got behind him and pushed him into a sitting position, then lifted up his shirt "sit perfectly still" she ordered. she felt all the way down his back and detected the jolt. she pushed sideways and heard the bone click into place and he arched his back inward with a howl of pain. but he could rise. he stepped over to the leader's daughter, and collapsed in her arms, whispered "thank you" and went to sleep. he woke on the soft floor. he stretched, and rose. then went into a handstand. he held it for a few minutes in the silence of the room, letting his power flow through him from his hidden mark on his hand. he came down and was suddenly held with his hands behind his back and his face in the floor. he turned his head to the side, letting his left cheek rest on the ground. he moved his eyes upward and saw a masked rider on his back. "you're to run for the leader's entertainment. you will not be killed, but you are to run until you are caught, and act like a animal; meaning hide like an animal, think like an animal, run like an animal if you wish. if you are not caught by dusk, you come to the castle and we will let you in. come. you will find berries and water in abundance here on this island." the masked rider let him out of the castle "one more thing." the rider said "don't try to escape this island, or you will be killed" he gulped, then nodded and ran off into the forest. he ran fast, but he kept looking where he was running for traps. he leaped into a tree when he heard the dogs and leaped from tree to tree like a squirrel to make the dogs lose his trail. he holed up in a thickly leafed tree and ate some of the berries that grew there. he heard the dogs short howls and yips and knew they had found the tree he had jumped into, but he knew they couldn't follow a trail in the branches. then he heard a wildcat yowl. his blood turned to ice. if they freed that wildcat, he would be found all right...dead. he listened, but heard nothing more; they didn't open the cage. after they had went to a different part of the island, he look around carefully, then swung like a monkey on the vines to another tree and ate the peaches that were there. he climbed down and found a spring of water. then, just before dusk, when he was walking and looking around at the same time, he stepped on a twig and suddenly he was turned upside down and hung by his ankle as the riders came. he closed his eyes to stop the tears and felt a wet nose sniffing him and a howl. he opened one eye and saw the hounds gathered around him; the lead hound was howling to bring the riders. he sighed and closed his eyes again, but a slap made him open them, at first, all he saw was a mix of blurs. and then he came to a jolting stop facing the leader. he said "almost won, but we got you at last. it was a good chase, but not good enough!" there were some "yeah's" heard and he was dragged back to the castle. they untied him just outside the room that he was staying in and he walked wearily into his room. he stepped forward a few steps, then slowly, he toppled forward and was asleep before he even hit the ground. he awakened early in the morning and just sat there, then stood up and did a handstand, and dropped his legs down backwards into a bridge, then lowered himself and brought his arms down to his side and then turned and sat looking at the floor. there was the sound of many locks opening- he guessed it was because he had picked the lock on his last cell door- and the leader's daughter slipped in. he said nothing. he studied the ground as she walked toward him, she knelt down, and her hand took hold of his chin and lifted up. he looked up at her with his good eye. his other eye was black and swollen shut. the leader's daughter put her finger on his eye very gently, and he winced. she touched it gently and he jerked away and covered his eye with his hand. she pried one finger loose and pulled down, slowly at first, his hand came with it, then it came faster as he realized that struggle was futile. it was either surrender, or loose a finger. she touched his eye again and he winced again, and she touched a hair harder and he jerked away again, and just shielded his eye. then, slowly, he moved back in place. this time, the leader's daughter locked his hands in place. she touched his eye again and let her magic feel it too. Puzzled, she pulled back, there was another magic in there. it was the beautiful blue of the sky on certain days. she closed her eyes and inhaled and exhaled, counting, she opened her magical eyes and saw a form in front of her glowing. she looked until she located where the glow was the brightest. she lifted up his hand, her magical eyes still open. she saw a blinding glow on his palm that died as soon as she lifted it, and she opened her real eyes as he rolled away. he came up in a corner, and she pulled out a stun gun. she slowly walked toward him, and he waited, his eyes trained on the muzzle of the gun. his hands were pressed against the wall. she picked up the hand she had picked up before, and looked at the palm... and saw nothing but skin. she frowned, and closed her eyes and concentrated; and she saw the glow on the hand she held. she opened her real eyes and concentrated her magic on the hand. she saw the boy grit his teeth and smiled, she put forth an extra burst of power, and saw his fingers on his other hand dig into the soft wall. she poured on more power, unaware that he was only acting. suddenly, her power was pushed out and she staggered back. the boy took his chance, with one quick movement, he had the stun gun by his side, and had a strong arm around her neck and a hand over her mouth "I would suggest you remain very still and don't cry out, or Daddy's girl will have a splendid funeral" he snarled in her ear. she stopped dead. he wouldn't dare. she opened her mouth and his arm cinched tighter around her neck. she closed her mouth immediately. he would. "I don't kid around" he said softly, his voice close to her ear. she felt like crying, she had been taught in all the self-defense arts, and here she was, helpless. she wished he'd remove his hand so she could challenge him to a fight. she got her wish. his voice said softly "if you promise not to scream or alert anyone, I'll remove my hand." she nodded carefully, for his arm was still around her neck. the gun was now held at her side. she hissed "I want to make a deal." he turned her toward him, the gun still on her, now pointed at her chest. she looked into his sapphire eyes. "I'm listening" he said quietly, his eyes skeptic "I challenge you to a hand to hand fight, all martial arts." he nodded slowly, his eyes and face showing nothing." "if I win, you don't resist me when I look at what is on your hand. if I lose..." "If you lose, you forget you ever noticed the glow you saw" he said, his sapphire eyes hard. "agreed" she held out her hand. he took it and they shook. they took off their shoes and the leader's daughter tied her hair back. "ready?" she asked. he answered by shifting into one of the many ready positions of the martial arts. she was surprised, she didn't know that form. she shifted into her best form. "heyah!" she yelled, and they lunged at each other. she kicked and he blocked with one arm and punched with the other, and then turned around and gave her a back kick. she blocked and was unprepared for the next kick and the punch that followed right after it. she threw in two punches and a roundhouse kick and all were blocked. she was scared. she didn't know this form, and every kick and punch she threw was blocked and she kept getting hit, as he threw a punch and a kick and then two punches in a rapid form. she saw a bolt of blue flipping and flying around, and grimly drew out her own bolt of power. he looked over and saw a bolt of green fly out and start flipping around and around and flying around her. he set his mouth in a grim line, and drew his hands up into flying bird, then apart with the thumbs touching, then put his left hand behind his right diagonally across. then, he breathed in and the bolt went into him. he watched as the green bolt disappeared and they stepped forward at the same time and with his hands in the position mentioned before, and her hands in a position with her left hand behind her right with the left fingers in between the right fingers and they shot magic at each other, suddenly, he looked over at her, and his eyes opened wide and his magic disappeared and he just stood there. the leader's daughter, still wanting to win, shot two bolts at him, but they just bounced off him and disappeared. "you want to see it that bad?" he asked. she nodded quietly. with a sigh, he held up his left hand. there, on his palm was a mark that looked like this: [ "you do have magic!" she exclaimed, looking at the mark. he bowed his head, and put his hands over his face. she took his hands, and took the hand that had the mark, and pinched with her mind, and pulled up and the mark started coming up. she saw him grit his teeth, and the mark went back down. "you can't take it." he said "why not?" she asked. she stopped pulling, but still held his hand in a magical, unbreakable grip. he took a deep breath, and it all came out in a rush "youcan'ttakeitbecauseit'smyblood!" he said. "slower please?" she said, not understanding a word he said. he took another deep breath "you can't take it because it's my blood." he said, not looking at her. she jerked her hand back, but forgot the magical hold. as she was undoing it, she took her attention off the boy. when she pulled her hand back a second time, she couldn't. she looked at her hand and saw a silver barrier swirling around her hand and his, his hand was holding hers, and she felt a cool, smooth thing in her hand. his eyes were closed, and concentration showed in his brow. she sat still and watched their joined hands, and wondered what was going to happen. then, suddenly, the swirling silver glow vanished, and he fell forward and rolled slowly onto his back, his eyes closed, she saw the tranquilizer dart in his neck. she saw soldiers with spears come in and grab him by the upper arms and started to drag him away. she closed the door with a snap of her fingers. they turned toward her. "you will leave him here!" she demanded. the soldiers looked at her, then turned back toward the door. one of the younger guards tried opening the door and got zapped. as he sucked his stung fingers, the guards holding the boys arms turned toward the leader's daughter "well?" she inquired icily. "we're taking him to a magical holding chamber, for endangering your life." he said, bowing. she snorted "he wasn't endangering my life." "he has magic. anyone that has magic is dangerous" "Am I dangerous?" she said, her voice very cold. "no, but you have learned to control it, and you are one of us. He isn't." she shook her head. "he can control his magic. he beat me at a magic battle. Me!" the guard shrugged "sorry" then he kicked down the door and the boy was taken away. the leader's daughter was left alone in the room, and she opened her closed fist and saw what the smooth, cool object was. it was the boy's stone that glowed. the boy woke up slowly on a cold, metal floor. he woke up with a colossal headache, and pushed himself up holding his head. he looked around, and stared. he was in a cylinder with magical rays like cell bars, only made of pure magic. he carefully touched one and pulled back his finger with a barely audible "ouch!" 'well' he thought, sucking his stung fingers 'that answers my question. it's real.' he sat indian style in the cell and tried to meditate, but there was a buzzing in his head that drove him nuts, suddenly his eyes opened wide, and he slumped forward, out cold. when he opened his eyes again, he saw two thin, black, riding boots. he slowly looked up at the leader's daughter with dead-looking eyes; the sapphire gray. he longed to be free, to be out of the cage, be out in the sunlight, or if he was in the room he was in the last time, that would be okay. the cage was crushing him. he stood up slowly, and the bars became iron. he carefully leaned back against the bars at his back and crossed his arms. "why are you here?" he asked quietly. the leader's daughter crossed her arms. "I'm here to see that you are being treated fairly." "oh, yeah, I'm great, except this buzzing in my head and this cage!" he said, his voice mad. "that's the purpose of these cages." she said calmly. "they slowly drain away your magic. by the end of the week your magic will be gone." "ok" he said "I'd like a black coffin and a stone that says my name and age, which would be 17." she stared at him "why?" he looked at her "I told you. my magic is my blood, take away my magic, it's like taking away my blood, and with no blood, no me." she stared at him in horror. then, she rushed to a set of controls and pressed a button. instantly, the buzzing ceased, and he felt stronger. he slowly walked to the front of the cell and hung his arms out of the bars and looked out at her, and gave a tiny smile. she nodded and walked out of the room, and he heard voices in the next room, and then he was moving. he was taken down a tunnel into a lab and he saw the leader's daughter in a white lab coat. she stepped forward and unlocked his door and opened it. he stayed in, puzzled. "come on!" she ordered. hesitantly, he stepped out, and fell forward as she hit him on the back. he woke handcuffed to a chair. he lay his head back and groaned. the leader's daughter came into his view. she had and iv blood with her, and a empty bag. he shook his head. "no, you aren't doing that to me. I can give you some reasons why, if you'll listen." she stopped. "1)my magic blood can't be replaced with regular blood, I'll still die. 2) needles hurt me worse than normal people, and 3) I need my magic to keep me well. the 3rd one may sound stupid, but it's true. I've never been in a hospital or need doctors in my life except when I was born." the leader's daughter nodded, then put the iv and the bag away. "Instead of that, I have to preform an painless experiment on you. I will undo it in a week, and you will be fine." He slowly nodded his agreement. She lowered a helmet onto his head. "Close your eyes." He obeyed and she pressed a button. The helmet made his mind think he was completely in love with the leader's daughter, but she was way higher than him and he was just a jailed criminal, and he saw her everyday when she came to make inspections. The next day, she came down and he was waiting for her. He hung his arms out of the cell and moved his head out too. She stopped in front of his cell. "Hello, how are you doing today?" She asked. He smiled at her. "Fine, how are you?" She replied "Good, thank you." When she was out of earshot and out of his sight, he sighed, and cursed himself for asking how she was. He wasn't supposed to be interested in her. She came back later, and he was still huddled in a ball, and he was ashamed to show her his face. He heard the unlocking of the door and for the first time, he dreaded her coming in. She knelt in front of him, gently unfolded his arms, and lifted up his face. He had blood smeared all over his face. She took a wet cloth and cleaned off his face and saw the source of it. There were two nicks- one over and one under his right eye. (like in Lion king 2) "Why did you hurt yourself?" She asked. "I was ashamed of myself, and what I said to you today." He answered softly, not looking at her as he said it. She smiled. "But I liked that. None of the others ask me how I've been." He looked up at her "Really? You like it?" She nodded. "Here's your supper" She said, handing him his food. he took it, and she left him to eat in peace. Later that week, she allowed him to kiss her. On Saturday, she changed him back, and he held his head. “Ow, why do I have a big headache?" She ignored the question. She stood in front of him, and held out her hand. He looked up, and she noted the nick was still there, and it wasn't healing fast. He looked at her hand. Lying in her palm was his stone. He reached forward hesitantly, then slowly closed his hand around it. As soon as his hand was around it, she removed her hand, then stood looking at the floor. The awkward silence stretched out between them. Finally, he looked up, and said "Thanks for giving me my stone back. I'd be lost without it." She nodded, then said "My name's Bella" He blinked, then nodded. "Mine's Trent" She smiled, then said quietly "Hi, Trent" He gave a small smile "Hi, Bella." He then stood up, and moved towards her, then slowly, kissed her. He drew back, then whispered "I didn't forget that." Then turned and walked down a hallway. Bella stood there for a second, then stared after the direction he went. She smiled then went after him and found him leaning against the wall. They embraced each other in the darkness and they kissed. She rested her head against his chest. He smelled good, like a barbeque. One of her favorite smells. He kept his arms around her, breathing in her sweet smell of cherries. Presently they heard footsteps coming down the tunnel, like sharing one thought, they pressed themselves against the wall. Then, Bella felt despair when she saw a light "What do we do?" She whispered. He looked at her, and she saw one of his eyes wink shut. He took out his stone in his closed fist whispered a quiet word into his fist, grabbed her hand, and slowly breathed in. The guard stopped right in front of them and looked around, shining his light around. He shined the light at them, and then... walked on. When he was out of the tunnel, two shadowy shapes unattached themselves from the shadow and the smaller one threw their arms around the other "Wow! That was pure genius! How did you do that?" He smiled and held up his glowing stone. “I whispered 'mask' into it and then we were made to look like the side of the tunnel. This stone is somewhat alive, and it understands what I ask it to do" She glanced at him admirably. Then looked at the stone. "Does it have a name?" She asked. He nodded. "It told me its name. It is called Carthg Haska. She smiled "It's an interesting name. Do you have a easier name to say?" He nodded "The orb" She gasped "I heard about the orb! Is this the same one?" "It depends on what stories you've heard." He replied. "That it leveled a building, then destroyed another one" He nodded "That was my orb. It gets excited." The orb flashed bright then went back to its regular glow. Trent smiled and slipped it back into his pocket. "I hope you aren't scared of it, those buildings were going to be demolished anyway, my orb just saved them some work." She smiled a little at that, then went into him, and wrapped her arms around him, holding tight, loving the feel of his firm chest against her, making her feel secure. She pulled back. "I have to move you back into that room. My father still wants you for entertainment, and that's a high honor. He says you're one of the best 'prey' he's ever had. But one question. Why did you never use magic to lose him?" Trent shrugged "I don't know. I just don't really approve of using magic to beat regular people." He admitted. She smiled mysteriously. "Try it next time he takes you out, and see what happens." Trent's eyes narrowed, half thought, half studying her, like this might be a trick. She shook her head, her eyes serious. "Seriously, try it. He knows for sure you have magic now. At least 3 people have told him, if not more." He sighed, then nodded. "Alright." "Great." She said, then took his hand, and started dragging him toward the door. "What?" "He wants you as prey right now. Go try it, and follow the rules they told you when they first let you out" He gulped, nodded, and dashed off. He jumped up in a tree, and ran along in a few of them, then stopped in a thickly leafed one, and sent his power out in a ripple, and had his scent scattered in spots, and duplicate hims. They would disappear if they were caught, but they would act like him, and distract them, for example, kicking up a small pile of leaves on the floor, a flicker of color, a rustle of branches. the barking and howling of the hounds turned confused as Trent kept moving, in case someone could find out where the ripple of power came from. He kept moving, and kept using his magic to confuse them. Then, he was yanked out of the tree. He was hung upside down, by the ankle again. He cursed as they galloped up. The leader looked at his face again, then he smiled, and chuckled. "My daughter got to you, didn't she?" He sighed and didn't answer. The leader chuckled again. "Well, I guess I can give you one break. That nick isn't going to heal the way she wants it to if you get dirt in it, and I'd rather not have her mad at me. Get him out, boys." Then he walked away. The other riders loosened the loop, and he sprawled on his back, then scrambled up, and followed them back to the castle. He met her in the soft room again, and he smiled sheepishly at her. "You were right. I got along further, and he actually laughed and didn't make me do any embarrassing stuff 'cause he saw that you got to me." She laughed, and hugged him. "Told you!" Then, she checked his nick. "Good. No dirt." "He mentioned something about not wanting you mad at him if I got dirt in it." She nodded. "I wouldn't forgive him. Not at this point in your healing." He looked at her confused. "What do you mean, 'this point in my healing'?" She looked down. "I'm healing the nick so it will still be there, even when it's completely healed and doesn't hurt anymore. I-I think it makes you look incredibly sexy. You look like you have the dangerous and 'bad boy' vibe going for you." He blushed a bit and asked "Really?" She smiled and nodded. "Really really." He laughed at that. "Amazing" He commented. She nodded, and tossed him a leather jacket, and smiled. He winked back. He shrugged the leather jacket on, and came over to her, then ensnared her in his arms. She gasped in surprise, not expecting it, then smiled, and leaned back against his strong chest. "I can hear your heartbeat." She murmured, sounding sleepy. "It's... Comforting... Strong..." She trailed off. He bent his head, and slowly and softly whispered in her ear. "Shhh. Go to sleep. Your rebel boy of a guardian angel will watch over you." She laughed softly, and quieted as sleep took her. He lay her down on the floor, and sat against a nearby wall, watching her. Toward morning, she stirred, and he whispered in her ear. "I've got to get some sleep, but I will watch over you in my dreams." She smiled, and murmured. "My guardian angel." He looked at her in surprise, but she was fast asleep. "I wonder of she dreams about me." He thought to himself as he curled up near her and let sleep overtake him. Throughout his dreams, there stalked a beautiful girl with long hair, one who had marked him as hers. He smiled. The leader's daughter kept him company, even in sleep. He woke up later, and he flipped up, to come up short; meeting at least 10 spears pointed at him. He was coming up, and stopped himself quickly, with his neck just centimeters from a tip of a spear. The spear came closer and he kept leaning backwards. Until suddenly, hands grabbed his from behind, and roughly tied them behind his back. Then, he was forced to walked in front of them down a long hallway with doors on both sides, and a big set of doors at the end. They pushed opened those doors and pushed him in, and came in with him. The leader looked up from the supper he was having with his daughter, who was staring at Trent in surprise. "Yes?" The leader asked. "Sir, this is the prisoner you wanted to see?" The leader chewed his piece of meat, swallowed, and nodded. He gestured to the table. "Sit down, son." They untied his wrists, and hesitantly, he started towards a chair somewhat down the table, and the leader shook his head. "You can come closer, son. I don't bite... That bad." He grinned and Bella slapped his arm "Daddy." She admonished. Slowly, Trent lowered himself into a seat next to the leader, his hands still at his sides. He sat there, looking ready to flee at any moment, his eyes flicking all over the place. "Leave us." The leader ordered the guards. They bowed their heads, turned about, and marched out. "Would you like something to drink?" The leader asked. "Water." Was the quiet reply. A servant walked out with a goblet of water and handed it to him, and he accepted it with a quiet thank you. "You don't talk more than you need to, or very loud." The leader commented. His words were met with silence, and Trent swirled his water in his cup, thinking of an answer. "I don't say more than is necessary, and I haven't talked very loud in the presence of more than one or two people since I was 5, and even one person took a while to work up to." The leader studied him. "Something happened to you." He stated. "Something bad happened to you, made you think that either speaking loud is a bad thing, or something traumatized you enough for you to speak quietly. I won't ask what that bad thing was, I don't need to know, unless you want to tell me. But, I will be meeting with you every other day and I want you yelling at me in those times. I want you to be using your voice to its full potential. I want to get you over that fear." Trent's mouth gaped open, and his eyes opened wide. His mouth opened and closed, but no words came out. He blinked and quickly closed his mouth. "I think you need to know what happened to me." He mumbled, then took a deep breath, and spoke a bit louder. "I was 4, and my Mom and Dad lived together, and we were happy for a year or so. Then, things turned bad, and Dad turned depressed and started drinking. He would fly into rages, and Mom would lock me and her in the bathroom and hug me tight while he pounded on the door. One time, he cut me off from my mom, and I couldn't run to her. I stumbled, and fell back. I started crawling backwards on my hands and feet, my wide, scared eyes fixed on my Dad, who towered above me. Finally I backed into a wall, and could go no further as he came closer. I remember curling up in a ball, and that was it. All I remember was from that point on was flashes of light and searing pain, and screaming, lots of screaming. Some of it my mother's, some of it my own. Then, I woke up face down on a cot near the fireplace, my back wrapped tightly. My mom forbade me to move, and insisted she help me with everything, from sitting up to drink water and eat food to going to the bathroom door. Apparently I had 2 badly cracked ribs and 2 badly bruised. When I finally healed enough to move around on my own, my dad came back home, dead sober. He looked at me, still wearing no shirt, the white bandaging tight around my torso, and he fell to his knees. "Speak. Please speak." He pleaded, tears coming to his eyes. "Daddy." I whispered. That was all I could manage. Tears started trickling down his face, when he heard that one word. "Speak." He pleaded. "Daddy, please don't cry." I pleaded with him, still whispering. He just kept crying, despite my whispered pleas. I guess he was wishing and hoping I still spoke normally. He stopped drinking that night. He kept asking for me to speak throughout the week, and then the month, and finally, he stopped asking. And then, one day, a few months later, I managed it. I manged to say one word louder than a whisper. I was with him, and I said "Dad." He stopped what he was doing, and stared at me, open-mouthed, and then wrapped his arms tightly around me, a few tears coming to his eyes. I was able to speak normally around Dad, and Mum came easily enough, but that was the only two. If it was Mum with her friend, I could manage it, but Mum with her whole garden club, I was whispering all over the place. It's been that way ever since." His voice had gotten to normal speaking volume, and he seemed surprised at himself. The food lay forgotten on the table, and Bella was staring at him in horror and sorrow. He hoped the horror was for his story, and not him. "I still have reminders not to speak too loud" He said quietly again, slowly moving his hands towards his jacket, watching the leader and Bella, and he slowly pulled off his jacket, and set it in the knob of his chair, then he pulled off his 'uknighted' shirt, then his dark blue under Armour, then, slowly turned, and baring his back to the entire table. Bella gave a strangled gasp, and the leader let out a low whistle. His back was marred with scars going every which way, crossing and criss-crossing until his back was just an ugly mess. Trent hung his head so that his somewhat long hair was hiding his face, and pulled on both shirts, one after another. Noticing that there were windows there, he stood, and before anyone could stop him, ran and jumped, crashing through the window and falling. He twisted in the air like a cat, and landed in a crouch, arms guarding his face from falling glass. He looked up to see the leader and daughter looking down at him, and he saluted to them, and with a look at Bella, he sprinted off into the woods. The riders searched for him for the whole day, and received a note that was dropped from a tree that had no one in it. The note read

I won't speak to anyone but Bella,

And I won't appear unless she comes alone.

Tomorrow. Before sunset. Send her into the woods and tell her to keep going. I'll find her.


They took it straight to the leader, and he was still to stunned to be angry, but told a posse to follow a ways behind her, and rope /T/ when he came out. They went into the woods the next day, but he didn't show himself. He must of seen the posse. The next day, she went out alone, and kept walking, but there was a small posse way behind her, made up of about 4 riders, and they moved quietly. They heard talking and saw him hanging by one arm from a tree, wearing a white, light blue, and grey plaid, collared, button up t-shirt. Before they moved, his free arm looped around her, and gently pulled her into him, and he brought his lips down on hers. She stood still in shock, then let her arms go around his neck and his other arm came down from the tree and went around her waist. When they pulled away, and she backed a few steps away, probably looking for a posse, they threw their lassos out. They were around him before he could react. They pulled tight as soon as the lassos were around him. He went to his knees, and Bella tried to get her dagger to cut them, but was pulled back by two riders while the other two tied/T/ up well.(they tied his wrists together in front of him and got rid of all the extra rope. They marched Trent through the hall again, and into the dining room. Bella was there with her dad, but nothing was in front to them except goblets. This time a guard stayed on either side of him, grasping his arm. The leader was still not mad, but still shocked, and even more so. This boy had, for one, kissed his daughter, and she liked it. And this boy was wounded in the worst ways possible, yet he struggled through it as if he was as strong as any other boy, if not stronger. "Sit." He ordered. Trent did as he was told, plunking himself down at the foot of the table, with no ceremony, just went over to the seat and kinda fell into it. He was acting like the leader's own son, if he had one, and as if he was sulking. This boy had the I-don't-give-a-shit attitude right now. "Leave us." He said to the guards, sighing. Then, he got up, grabbed his goblet and went to Trent's end of the table, and sat on his left side, while Bella followed the suit, and sat on his right. He glared at both of them, the leader for coming down here, and at Bella for getting him caught again in the first place. He did this without turning his head, then fixed his stony expression dead ahead, not looking at either one of them. "So, would you mind telling me what you hoped to accomplish jumping out of my window?" The leader asked. his tone not mad, but kinda joking. Trent's eyes snapped to his face, “I was free, wasn't I?”He muttered, then went straight back to dead ahead. The leader took it and went onto the next question. "Why did you jump?" He gave a one-shouldered shrug. "Did you have any reasons at all, and did you plan this?" A head shake. "Your dad did that to your back in his drunken rage, didn't he?" A few tears in his eyes and a small, quick nod. "Why did you demand to only see Bella? Alone?" He said nothing, but flicked his gaze to Bella, and her mouth fell slightly open, and a faint blush started staining her cheeks. The leader stared in amazement, but all he got was a non-committal shrug while Bella fought her blush. "Why did you run? We weren't going to hurt you. I just wanted to ask a few things about you." Trent stayed silent and gave no shrug, not head shake or nod, he just stared straight ahead. The leader decided to try something. He looked at his daughter, whose blush was almost gone, and caught her eye. Understanding showed and she waited. "GODAMMITT! WHY WON'T YOU JUST ANSWER A FEW SIMPLE QUESTIONS? I'M TRYING TO BE NICE AND PAITENT, BUT DAMMIT, BOY! YOU'RE NOT HELPING!"

Trent leaped up, knocking over his chair, fire blazing in his eyes.


He stood there, feet planted defiantly a shoulder length apart, his hands still tied in front of him. His eyes blazing and spitting fire, his mouth set in a hard frown. The leader couldn't help it. He smiled, then grinned. Trent slowly calmed down, breathing, and relaxing. He shifted his feet until they were just a normal distance apart. His eyes calmed until they were their normal sapphire blue. Bella set up his chair, and the leader clapped him on the shoulder and cut his hands free. "No more jumping out windows, okay?" He said, grinning. "Just answer a few questions, okay son?" Trent hesitated, then nodded, and accepted the leader's offered hand "Trent." He said as he firmly gripped the leader's hand and shook it. “Scott.” They sat at the head of the table, and Trent accepted their dinner invite. He took a little bit of everything and ate quietly, never adding to nor starting a conversation, but they knew he was listening with great interest, as his eyes would flick up at a particularly interesting piece of news he heard. At last, during a conversation, Scott asked Trent if he had anything he wanted to add. It was a conversation of fighting skills, and which sequence or kicks and punches would work best, and Trent's knowledge of his unknown fighting skills poured out. He mentioned unknown kicks and sequences along with a few punches that were foreign to them. They were speechless for a moment, then Scott managed to ask. "Does this unknown form have a name?" Trent shrugged. "I don't know. The man who taught it to me never told me a name, he just taught me. And I couldn't tell his nationality either, so I couldn't tell what country it was from either. I just call it my form." Scott grinned. "Would you mind teaching us?" Uh...No, thanks." Scott's grin was replaced with a puzzled look. "Why not?" "Well, then, your daughter would be able to beat me." Trent said grinning. Scott's grin returned and he laughed. "A good reason, but I think you would still beat her. Could you two spar, so I could see some of your form, Trent?" Trent looked at Bella, who was tying her hair back. He stood, and removed his shoes and socks. He shifted into his stance, and she shifted into hers, and she started off. All her kicks and punched were blocked again, and she was hit quite a few times, though they could both tell he was pulling his punches immensely, only clipping her whenever he came in contact. Finally, Scott clapped his hands, and they stopped. Scott smiled. "I really like your form, Trent. It tops even our best forms, and our best fighter." He said gesturing to his own daughter. "A male still might beat her, but she has won against many of the males in our group who have been fool enough to fight her." "I have magic." Trent blurted out. He instantly hung his head. Why had he said that? Scott asked softly "Your mark?" Slowly, he lifted up his left hand and peeled away the glamour, and showed it to him: [. Scott took hold of his head and looked at the mark, and then, to Trent's surprise, did nothing to it, except cover it with his other hand. "That's okay. You didn't use it in the fight, so I'm still impressed." Trent smiled slightly, and reset the glamour. They sat again, and finished supper. After the plates had been cleared away, Scott studied Trent, the way he didn't make direct eye contact with anyone, the way he looked down and stayed silent. Finally, he asked. "Do you have any family?" Trent jumped, startled, and then shrugged. "I don't know if they are alive." He said quietly, with a hint of sadness in his voice. "Well, we don't have to do this, but, well, Trent, I love my daughter, but I've always wanted a son also. I was wondering if you would mind if I adopted you." Trent raised his eyes to Bella, who smiled and gave a small nod, and he looked back to Scott, then whispered in his ear "Would you be okay with me dating your daughter sometime in the future?" Scott laughed at the question. "That's not my choice, but sure, Son. Sure." Trent grinned. "Thanks...D-dad." He struggled a bit with the word, but got it out, and Scott gave him a one armed hug around the shoulders. "I'll file the paperwork tomorrow. Welcome to the family." Trent grinned, went over to Bella, and kissed her on the cheek, very close to her mouth, making her blush again, and Scott chuckled. After they ate, instead of calling for the guards to take Trent back to his room, they took Trent to their living quarters, and Scott unlocked a room and opened the door, and flicked on the light. The room was decorated in hues of blue, like the ocean; The walls had the blue green of waves on them, the ceiling had sky blue, and the floor was a thick blue carpet of the Caribbean color. His bed had 3 ocean blue green pillows, the same color bedspread, but white sheets. He smiled and carefully sat on the floor, and looked confused when they stared at him. "I'm dirty." He explained. Scott grinned and pointed to a bathroom. "There'll be a set of clean clothes and we'll wash yours tomorrow." Trent nodded his thanks, and went into the shower, letting the warm water run over his body. He scrubbed every inch of his skin till he couldn't see anymore dirt and he was 100% sure he was clean. He then dressed in the soft gray yoga shorts. He climbed into the bed and fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

He woke up around 9:00am that morning. He hadn't felt this good in the morning in ages... And then he realized someone was massaging his back, rubbing the sore muscles. He stayed still and let whoever it was finish without knowing he was awake. It felt real good, and his back was feeling better, not sore. He noticed she was being very careful with his scars and wasn't using her knuckles very hard or anything. She worked out all the knots, and then just went back to massaging his back, getting rid of all the pain and ache in his muscles, then, he quickly rolled over, gently trapping the girl's wrists with his hands around them gently. Bella gasped in surprise and shock. He grinned cutely, and instead of letting her go, he slowly brought her hands to his now bare chest and rested them there, then released them, gently trailing his fingers down her hand as he withdrew his hands. "Good morning." He said quietly. She smiled. "I hope you weren't mad. I thought your back might hurt, so I was rubbing it." He smiled "Thank you. It was sore. Where's your dad?" "Our dad," She corrected, "Is at the courthouse signing the papers that make you his adopted son." He smiled, his eyes distant. "I'm going to have a Dad again." He whispered. "It sounds too good to be true. Our dad also sounds too good. I can't believe it." She giggled. "You'd better. Also, Dad was wondering if you'd mind sometimes playing the prey for him." He shrugged. "Why not? Maybe I'll beat him someday."

Trent and Bella were eating breakfast when Scott got home. He walked in the door, grinned, and held up a folded paper. “It's official, Trent. You're now my son.” Trent grinned, and gave him a hug. “A little birdy told me you'd want me to play the prey for you sometime. I just wanted to tell you, you're on.”A grin spread on Scott's face. “Trying to beat me, are you?”Trent grinned in return. “No trying- Going to is more like it.” Scott chuckled. “Good luck, my boy. Good luck.” Bella, the girl with two men, smiled at their banter.

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